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Christmas Spirit

12/10/2012 at 3:38pm

Christmas SpiritLooking for Host Families

Each Christmas season, while families are traveling to be together and enjoying the holidays surrounded by their loved ones, there is one group of people who are not. They face a holiday without family nearby and with no holiday plans. They are International students from colleges and universities around the country.

Christmas International House was founded in 1965 by a minister in West Virginia who suggested his congregation host international students for the holidays. The first year, they hosted 180 students. In 1966, seven churches hosted students and soon the program spread across the country. Over 30,000 International students have participated in the program since 1965.

Designed to offer hospitality to students during the holidays, the program gives students the chance to visit an American home and see different parts of the country and experience an American Christmas. It offers families the opportunity to welcome someone into their home, develop friendships and exchange ideas with people who come from other countries.

Chapel by the Sea is hosting a Christmas International House program from December 18-January 2. They will host 12 students and still urgently need homes for 6 of them.

Hosts are responsible for providing meals, a place to stay and welcoming the student into your home/family from December 18-January 2. If you are able to host a student, please call Jimmy Steele, Director of Education and Youth Ministries for Chapel by the Sea, 239-463-3173 x 15 or jimmy@chapelbts.org. Anyone unable to host who would like to make a donation to support the program is encouraged to contact him also.

Missy Layfield